Miesha Tate Defeats Rin Nakai At UFC Fight Night 52 In SaitamaFormer Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha “Cupcake” Tate took one step towards regaining contender status with a three-round decision victory tonight at UFC Fight Night 52: “Hunt vs Nelson” in Saitama, Japan. Tate outpointed Bantamweight Queen of Pancrase Rin Nakai.

Showcasing her improved striking, Tate took an early lead on the scorecards in tonight’s main card bout thanks to her superior standup skills and solid takedown defence. Nakai had greater success with takedowns in the latter rounds, but struggled to mount offence and tasted defeat for the first time.


Tate (15-5-0) opened the action with a combination and a knee, and she threw the much smaller Nakai (16-1-1) to the mat with ease. Nakai countered with upkicks from her back and rose to her feet, but her takedown attempts were repeatedly thwarted and Tate scored with hard elbows over the top in a clinch. Nakai finally got her down to a knee, but Tate stood and landed quick punches. She fought off a suplex from Nakai and finished the round with a powerful leg kick.

Nakai jumped on Tate’s back after scoring a very brief takedown in round two and she worked to set up a standing rear-naked choke. Tate tried to shake her off and Nakai pulled her down into her guard. Tate punished her with elbows from the top and avoided an armbar before the fight returned to the feet. Tate established her jab and she followed with right hands. Nakai took her down for a split second, but she could not keep her there for long.

In round three, Nakai hopped on Tate’s back once again and tried for another rear-naked choke. Tate remained on her feet and turned into a clinch, then broke away with punches. Both fighters worked for takedowns until Nakai ultimately got Tate down. Tate got back to her feet and landed punches before the end of the close round, which Nakai appeared to have narrowly edged out with her grappling.

Only one judge scored the final round for Nakai and all three saw the fight in Tate’s favour. Scores were 29-28 and 30-27 twice for the former Strikeforce champion, who has won back-to-back decisions since suffering a second loss to reigning UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey. For Nakai, the loss in her long-awaited UFC debut snapped a 17-fight unbeaten streak.

While her victory tonight won’t be enough to get her back into the title hunt, Tate has now set her sights on a rematch with current top contender “Alpha” Cat Zingano, who returns to the cage against Amanda “Lioness” Nunes at UFC 178 next weekend.

Winner: Miesha Tate by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) after three rounds. She improves to 15-5-0.



(Photo Credit: UFC)

  1. Miesha seemed a good deal stronger than Nakai. She also showed some nice clinch savvy. And her striking is less wild and a lot sharper now (there’s still room to improvement, IMO).

    Got to improve those kicks… Nakai grabbed her leg quite a few times.

    I scored the 3rd round for Nakai as well, Rob, although Miesha dominated the striking exchange in that one.

    Hope to see Miesha vs Kaufman or Miesha vs Eye next.


  2. I wouldn’t mind Miesha Tate vs Alexis Davis either, but I think Alexis takes this one.

  3. I think meisha looked better against Rousey. Carmouche should have won her most recent fight and this girl Nakai looks completely out of her league. She should retire to female bodybuilding…. a martial artish she is not. Cat Zingano or Ronda Rousey would have ended Nakai in less than a round. I was very disappointed in Meisha.

  4. Why should she retire she did beat sarah de aleia very easy thats not bad for a girl who should retire. Its her first loss it happens plus she is like 5 foot nothing its obvious she should be fighting at 115 or 125. She is the same height as tecia torres for christ sake. Rin is a really good fighter & grappler but because of her height & baby arms she is often at a disadvantaged on the feet so she is easy pickings if she cant get the fight to the ground. People saying she isnt good at all i really dont understand that at all. If she was the same height as tate i guarantee you she wins. Look what happened to andrade in her ufc debut liz made her look like a total can.

  5. Thanks for all the great comments. I didn’t see the fight and this info really helps. Two fights that come to mind that might be interesting are: Nakai vs. de Randamie — basically complete opposites style-wise and size-wise. And — what the hell — make Holly Holm’s first fight in the Octagon against none other than — Miesha! That would probably the the biggest single women’s fight not involving Rousey. I think it’d be great for WMMA and would be a huge addition to any PPV-level card. And I think Tate would have an excellent chance of winning that one. Just my 2 cents.

  6. McMann wants Meisha!
    Baby arms…ha ha…I like that…so true. The only thing I was surprised with was the fact that Nakai’s conditioning. I would have thought that all that bulk would have caused her to gas. She just appears freakishly weird with those punches and kicks and her arms and legs are just too bulky to matter. IDK…I just see an extremely handicapped fighter. Hell…she couldn’t even get her hooks in when she had Meisha’s back because her legs were too short!!!

  7. Mike — McMann called out Tate?!! That would be a hell of a fight – and frankly I don’t know who would win.